Source: Connecting chute and payload
I’ve been having a lot of fun printing prototype pieces for a potential high altitude balloon box (more on that another time). Unfortunately this is a lot like the old days, when printers replaced typewriters. As I made corrections to a document, I’d reprint it. WYSIWYG was not really any help. The paper copy was always a little different. Suddenly I could go through reams of paper perfecting a small document. Unfortunately, I use my 3D Printer the same way, exploring new ideas and finalizing fits.
I took my own advice and bought the Flashforge Creator X 3D printer. It has two MK8 print heads, for printing two colors, and an aluminum plate. So far I like it. I’m using ABS plastic and so far have had no jams. I’ve replaces the Kapton(tm) build plate covering once so far. I beat it up after seven or eight builds. The initial instructions suggest a plate temperature of 90C. I’ve had better luck with parts sticking to the build plate at 110C.
My initial interest in 3D printing is to make model rocket nose cones with a capability of carrying small payloads. Getting a 3-D printer has given me a opportunity to develop some ideas. I’d like to have a nosecone that can carry small circuit board payload. The version described here does not have that capability, but it is a step toward that goal. It includes a shell of a nosecone. I’ve included some internal bulkheads, though I’m not sure they are needed. The nosecone needs to survive the launch pressures. The bulkheads will need to be reduced, but could be thickened, to carry a payload.
I hope to fly a Raspberry Pi in a high altitude balloon as a data acquisition and logging system. An intriguing capability the Pi could add to a balloon payload is to host a web server and web page for testing, configuring hardware before and during launch, and to download data after or even before landing. Data could be accessed before retrieving the payload from the tree :), This is a first look at some of the software and hardware to support this effort. This could be considered a first draft as I have learned some things the require different choices in hardware. The Pi offers a low cost computer system. I’m using version A (2011) hardware with the Raspbian “wheezy” 2013-05-25 software image (2013-05-25-wheezy-raspbian.zip ).
Warning … Warning … The following is unencumbered with a reality check – or even research. You have been warned.
My problem is that I would like to power a Raspberry Pi (5V about 0.8A) during a balloon flight (4 hrs) using an 11.1V LiPo battery maybe 300 to 800 mAhr, supplemented with a 15W array, instead of using a 4000 mAhr battery. I try to size things to run 4 hrs. And no, I don’t know if this actually saves weight. However it would be cool to accomplish.